Widening the Fire Circle

Every year, the weekend before Christmas, my family has an enormous solstice bonfire in our backyard. (“But Caitlin,” you say, “Solstice is so last moon cycle! I’ve already switched out my smudge sticks!” Listen, friends. We all know by now that I’m not about to let a good metaphor out of my clutches. Roll with it).

Most of you probably know about solstice by now, because it is my favorite holiday of all time and pretty much the only thing I talk about from Halloween on. It actually got to the point this year where my manager said “Wow Caitlin. You must really love solstice, cause this is the third time you’ve brought it up in a conference call this week.” Well yes, JOEY, as a matter of fact I DO. If your family’s annual gathering took the best parts of the Lumberjack World Championships and Top Chef and added a GIANT FREAKING BONFIRE, you’d bring it up in every conference call too.

I mean COME ON

My favorite part about solstice (aside from the opportunity to see my usually mild-mannered sister-in-law turn into a trash-talking, wood-chopping WWE wrestler) is how inclusive it is. Every year, Conor and I wheedle my mother into coming up with a new and wildly inventive way to squeeze juuuuuust a few more people around the table. And lord knows, the men in my family need no wheedling to expand our fire circle from its current healthy 5-foot diameter.

Next year, we'll be suspending the 12-and-unders from the lamp

Here’s where the marathon metaphor comes in. Every year, every team, I think “This is it. This is as awesome as it’s going to get. THIS MUST NEVER CHANGE.” Obviously, it does. Old friends leave, new folks come on board, and sometimes they switch out Swedish Fish for Skittles at the water stops. Change happens. But all it means is that we make a little more room and then sit back and bask in the warmth of a 32-tree, 3-bottles-of-lighter-fluid fire (OR FRIENDSHIP, if I really want to follow this through).

Seen here displaying the opposite of the solstice spirit

You guys are a part of that too. This list has gotten bigger over the years, and not just because I’m trying to widen my donation-grabbin’ net. You’ve all been an incredible part of my life, and even if you can’t donate now, or ever, I appreciate your love and support tremendously. If you can, of course, I appreciate that too!


Love and a wheel of baked brie (same thing, really),